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Tube in Genz-Benz Shuttle Series

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jdwhitak, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I have the Shuttle 6.2 and I was wondering if the tube preamp really makes a difference.

    I know on some products the tube is little more than a marketing gimmick because it's not powered properly. Is that the case with Genz-Benz amps?

    I like the sound of the amp, but I just purchased a couple of rack mount preamps and I'm thinking of selling the Genz-Benz to fund a power amp.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I love to roll tubes but in this case the difference is going to be slight to non I think it only has the single 12AX7 tube.
  3. GretschBassist


    Nov 11, 2012
    I don't know what's wrong about "just" one 12AX7 as it will most likely be a two stage (dual)triode that can make a HUGE difference to the warmth of the signal then going into the EQ section. People always hypnotically repeat what they read old grumpy farts writing on the internet. To modern ears, it may sound very pleasing.

    Use YOUR ears, not other people's.
  4. I do remember agedhorse (the man that designed it) stating he uses high voltage on the plates. I can't remember what he said about tube rolling though. PM him, Andy is a great guy and will give you the straight story.
  5. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    Agedhorse told us, that it will be useless to roll tubes in the preamp of the GBE 1200.

    OK, a member of a german bassmens-community did it on a GBE 750 because he wanted more tube gain, more grid, and this was what he got: More grid at lower preamp gain settings. The overall tone did not change.

    If I want more grid out of the tube channel of my GBE 1200 I turn down Channel Volume and rise Gain. This gives me the same effect.

    OK, this is what agedhorse sayd to the GBE-series, maybe he chimes in and says something to your shuttle 6.2 as they have different preamps.

    If not, feel free to PM him.
  6. Great amps. I've got one also. I find the tube has a good amount of say on the tone-depending on how you run the tube gain.
    +1 pm agedhorse let us know what you find out.
  7. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    Sell it. Lots of folks would be happy to buy this amazing amp. I just bought one.
  8. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    Ever thought about running your preamps into the Effect Return of your Shuttle 6.2? This will give you 600 Watts of Power. And the ability to play either through the preamp of your Shuttle - or the rackmount preamp. This will spread your tonal abilitys a lot!
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    The tube definitely makes a difference, which is very easy to hear in the Shuttlemax heads that have both SS and tube preamps. You can A/B them directly and hear the tube gently overdriving if you set your gain high enough. I have both 6.2 and SMax 9.2 and the tube warmth is there if you dial it in. However, if you are looking for buzz saw/heavy OD these are not the heads for you IMHO.
  10. temmrich

    temmrich Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have the Shuttle 6.2 and a Streamliner 600. I've rolled both. The streamliner definitely notices changes in tubes. The 6.2 much less so. However, the tube does have a marked and pleasing impact on the tone of the 6.2. I just haven't noticed that changing tubes made much of an impact on its overall tone.
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm a tube rolling freak and usually recommend changing preamp tubes some work some don't it's been my experience that when a solid state amp has one single 12Ax7 tube the change is minimal to zero I've done too many blind tests with friends to verify my conclusion. I have rolled countless NOS Tubes through my amps and amps of friends rare Tung-Sols, Holland Bugle Boys, and some 50's RCA Black Plates to name a few sometimes it works and most of the time the stock new production tube sounds just as good. I may have some extras if I find some I'll send them your way so you can see if there is a change.
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    This is correct, the circuit topologies are totally different between the two amps.
  13. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    IMO, this is a pretty catagorical statement without considering the various circuits that the tube may be used in.

    A single (2 section) tube can be designed into such a wide variety of circuits, each with it's own set of operational parameters that IME such a statement is a gross over-generalization.

    I can take a 12AX7 and do just about anything amplification-wise with it short of cleaning the kitchen. Not every player wants a tube to be so bold and intrusive that it gets in the way of the overall design of their amp. For these players, the Shuttle is a more subtle application of tube amplification, whereas the Streamliner is much more over the top in all parts of the amp's circuitry, not just because of the tubes, and this amp (through specific circuit design) takes much more of it's character from the tubes themselves. Some of these amps were in the kW range, enormous for the time when using tubes.

    There are also players who do not like tubes period, it's just not their cup of tea, or does not suit their particular playig style or application.

    These are all design choices that are made from the very beginning of an amp's development, and a considerable amount of effort and experience goes into making the hundreds of circuit choices that go into an amp. I have designed all soild state, all tube, and a wide variety of hybrid amps in my career. I also learned a lot from my father who was an engineer who designed with tubes back in the 1950's and he primarily designed low distirtion, high accuracy servos. These are essentially audio amps designed with no tube flavor whatsoever.
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I hear what your're saying and you're right I did paint a broad stroke with my statement but I say it as a caution to people who are expecting some huge tonal change. I've rolled enough tubes in my amps and pedals along with my friends amps and pedals to have a decent grasp on the subject the knowledge sure costs me a fortune :) I'll send the OP some nice tubes to see if it makes a difference.
  15. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Often, I will design a circuit so that there is not a very wide performance deviation between a wide variety of tubes. When designing production circuits, we like to be sure a design doesn't sound terrible if the owner doesn't happen to have a set of golden tubes. If a design only sounds good with a narrow range of tubes, IMO it's not a very good design for general production. Nobody wants to end up with a mediocre amp because they were unable to obtain the "perfect" tubes.

    I have a couple dozen test tubes with specific spec variations that I use to be sure a circuit will operate as intended even if the specs vary (as they do, often quite widely).
  16. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer
    I dropped a Telefunken in my 6.0 and it seemed to mellow the amp ever so slightly in a good way.